Honored Veterans

Some days numbers are just squiggles on a page. Especially large ones. Where does the comma go? How much is that really? How does it compare to…

Recently, I took a drive through Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. I’d seen pictures on TV. I’d even attended Memorial Day ceremonies at the Grand Circle twice. So perhaps I should have been prepared — for the size of the place. The row upon row upon row of white gravestones.

Think on this. Each grave honors a person who served their country. From the 1860’s (a few from before) until the present. Some died in battle. Others in accidents during training. Many passed away years after active service to their country ended. Yet every one — no matter the year — pledged to give their life, if necessary, to defend the United States of America.

Yes, I had to look up some numbers before I wrote this. The cemetery covers 330 plus acres and more than 188,000 graves. The first burial was recorded in 1827, when Jefferson Barracks was new and the first army installation west of the Mississippi. The most recent? Burials take place every weekday.